Sunday, September 16, 2012

Close encounters of the bunny kind

"Most cats, when they are out want to be in, and vice versa, and often simultaneously." — Dr. Louis J. Camuti, cat specialist

SHYE, Shiva and Boy Boy love nothing quite as much as having their morning treat followed by a walk outside. We try to take them out once or twice a day. 

After work we go out with them, but in the morning we leave the doors from the rest of the house to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the back porch and the porch door open so they can go in and out at will while we're getting ready. 

Shye has to be able to get all the way back into our bedroom or she won't go out, so all three doors have to be left open. Even then she rarely ventures beyond the back sidewalk. She and the Boy are often content to just sit on the porch and gaze at the world beyond. 

Shiva, on the other hand, is adventurous and intrepid, so we have to keep more of an eye on her, but we've trained her to come when whistled for. 

Paul went to work on Wednesday before I did, so I was home and the furry purries were outside — or so I thought. I was standing in the bedroom when I heard frenetic scrambling coming from under the bed. I hastened to investigate, and there was Shiva with a baby bunny in her mouth. She let me take Baby Bun from her, and happily BB was entirely unscathed. I scooted out the back door and relocated him or her under a giant hosta. 

There was no more going outside that day or the next so as to leave Baby in peace. Friday morning, however, I relented. Paul was taking a bath, and I was in the process of dressing when he shouted for me to come quickly. The Boy had brought Baby Bun into the bathroom to Paul

BB was again unharmed and returned to nature — a little too much of a return to nature on my part in Paul's opinion; I had dashed out in nothing but a bra and underpants. Hey, Bunny safety trumps modesty. 

Our three fur balls have always played stalk and pounce with a leaf, a suspicious blade of grass or as frequently, a figment of their imagination, but lately we've noticed them engaging in what looks like organized hunting. We think they may have figured out how to cooperate to catch actual critters. 

Neither Shiva nor the Boy seem interested in hurting them. Paul thinks Shiva might be trying to adopt them; she clearly thinks she's the Mom in our house — to all of us. The Boy just wants to be friends with everyone and is too much of a scaredy cat (in this case, literally) to be harmful. After nearly four years, he still doesn't trust the hot air register in the AP room, approaching it gingerly every single day — and by now that would 1460 days — just to be on the safe side. He's a lover boy, but not very bright.

Shye, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish — or cat, as it were. She had been feral when we got her, and there's still a lot of wild in her. She's utterly afraid of all humans except us, but Paul maintains she's the fiercest of the three, the one with killer instincts who could make a living hunting if she had to. Just goes to prove, like they always say, it's the quiet ones you gotta watch out for.

Who knows what's going on in their fuzzy, little heads. Whatever their captures are in their minds — baby, friend or food, I'm grateful they seem to think the proper thing to do is bring them in the house to us so we can repatriate their finds.

Shye on the left and Boy Boy on the right survey 
the Serengeti from the back porch. 

With me Shye is a purring, drooling, kneading, lovey, dovey 
baby, but I wouldn't trust her with anything she could eat.

Paul thinks that Shiva might think the buns are her babies. 
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